Prep Basketball

Springville seniors earn fourth trip to girls' basketball state tournament

Two-time defending Class 1A state champion Orioles (21-3) stuff Janesville, 49-31

Springville Orioles
Springville Orioles

LA PORTE CITY — The Springville girls’ basketball “family” will unite again in Des Moines.

The vaunted senior class of Alyssa Jaeger, Sami Johnson, Rylee Menster, Mikayla Nachazel and Madi Wagaman earned their fourth trip to the Class 1A state tournament with a 49-31 ouster of No. 14 Janesville Monday night at Union High School.

“The feeling doesn’t get old,” Nachazel said. “It’s amazing. I just can’t wait to be back.”

The Class 1A state tournament begins Feb. 28 at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines. Springville (21-3) has reached the championship game in three consecutive years, winning titles in the last two.

“We’re going to have to play how we normally play, believe in ourselves and see what happens,” said Menster, who led all scorers with 16 points.

After three years as a Springville assistant coach, Christina Zaruba will now lead the Orioles into the state tournament as head coach following the offseason departure of Nate Sanderson to Linn-Mar.

“It’s all about these kids,” Zaruba said. “I’ve just enjoyed working with them these last four years. … It’s all about them and they just do everything together. We’re one family.”


Springville jumped on Janesville with 14 of the first 16 points, highlighted by six apiece from Menster and Nachazel. Another Nachazel bucket pushed the lead to 27-12 at halftime.

“We know they like to drive and shoot in the lane, so our scout team did a good job preparing us,” Nachazel said.

The lead was pushed to 20 at 32-12 early in the third quarter after a free throw by Wagaman.

A Jaeger basket midway through the fourth quarter provided the Orioles with their largest lead at 47-21.

“Our defense was really solid,” said Wagaman, who finished with 11 points and four rebounds. “We had a really aggressive offense going in at the post hard and rebounding.”

Nachazel scored all 10 of her points in the first half and added six rebounds and four assists. Nachazel and Menster are both two-time selections to the 1A all-state first team and will play basketball together next year at Division-II Minnesota State-Mankato.

Jaeger grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds, while Johnson tallied four.

“They are a great group of kids that work hard and know what to do,” Zaruba said. “In any situation, they are going to do exactly what we asked.”

All five seniors also claim three trips to state in volleyball, including two semifinal appearances.

Sophomore Bailey Hoff had a team-high 11 points for Janesville (21-3), which lost for just the second time in 15 games.


At La Porte City

No. 1 Springville 49, No. 14 Janesville 31


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JANESVILLE (31): Grace Hovenga 0 2-4 2, Kennedy Meister 1 0-0 2, Lily Liekweg 1 0-0 2, Alisa Bengen 0 2-4 2, Bailey Hoff 4 3-4 11, Kennedy Rieken 2 0-0 5, Briana Baker-Bruce 0 4-6 4, Taylor Denning 0 0-0 0, Libby Illian 1 0-0 3, Natalie Dirks 0 0-0 0, Totals 9 11-18 31.

SPRINGVILLE (49): Nichole Kane 2 2-4 6, Rylee Chapman 0 0-0 0, Melissa Nulle 0 0-0 0, Rylee Menster 5 5-7 16, Megan Pearson 0 0-0 0, Kali Spicer 0 0-0 0, Madi Wagaman 5 1-3 11, Courtney Boland 0 0-0 0, Sami Johnson 1 0-0 2, Alyssa Jaeger 2 0-0 4, Kely Kirchmann 0 0-1 0, Mikayla Nachazel 5 0-0 10, Totals 20 8-15 49.

Janesville 2 10 4 15—31

Springville 12 15 7 15—49

Halftime — Springville, 27-12. Three-point goals — Janesville 2 (Rieken 1, Illian 1), Springville 1 (Menster 1). Rebounds — Janesville 19 (Meister 5), Springville 30 (Jaeger 10). Assists — Janesville 4 (Baker-Bruce 2), Springville 16 (Nachazel 4). Total fouls — Janesville 16, Springville 17. Fouled out — None.

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